The following message comes from the Tukwila Police Department. They are urging motorists to please slow down and keep an eye out for our children.
The Tukwila Police Department has attempted to mitigate the multiple traffic complaints in our school zones. Several methods have been used to curtail traffic issues. These efforts include speed signs, cross walks, speed notification signs, and school zone speed enforcement. These efforts have not been effective in that we are still receiving complaints about significant speeding in our school zones, especially along S. 144th Street.
We recently collected data over the course of one week, between 7:30 AM-9:00 AM and again from 2:30 PM-3:30 PM. The data shows that in the mornings and afternoons when students are present, there is a significant amount of speeding in this school zone.
The radar equipment we used captured 6,264 motorists. Of those 1,912 were traveling at speeds between 25-40 miles per hour. The posted speed limit in school zones is 20mph because at or below this speed drivers and children walking have more time to see each other and react. In addition, the likelihood of a fatality at or below 20mph is approximately 10%. When that speed is increased to 30mph, the risk of a fatality increases to approximately 60%.
Many emphasis patrols involve citations that are written by hand by officers. These patrols often take attention away from other areas in the city. Those who receive tickets from officers can experience the following:
- High penalties and fees.
- Tickets received by officers are included on the offender’s driving record.
- This could have an effect on insurance rates.
- And those tickets cannot be mitigated.
The Tukwila Police Department recently proposed adding school zone speed cameras for the area of S 144th between 42nd Ave South and 46th Ave S. The cameras would be active from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM, and again from 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM. Signs and/or flashing lights will be activated during the times that the cameras are operational.
The cameras are connected to the school zone beacons and only operate when the beacons are flashing. If the beacons are not flashing, then drivers will not be issued citations.
Photos of the vehicle and the vehicle license plate taken at the time the vehicle was detected speeding in a school zone are filed along with a notice of infraction in Tukwila Municipal Court.
Violators will be sent a notice of infraction in the mail. That notice will contain a photo of the vehicle and the license plate. The driver or occupants of the vehicle will not be photographed or distributed, as that would be in violation of RCW 46.63.170. The photograph and video of the violation will be available online for the violator to review.
Additional information associated with camera enforcement:
- Citations can be mitigated.
- Camera enforced citations are treated much the same way as a parking violation and are not included on the violator’s driving record.
- Camera enforced citations do not affect insurance rates.
The Tukwila Police Department will present the formal proposal for the cameras to the Tukwila City Council at an upcoming meeting in July.
We truly believe you are as concerned as we are when it comes to the safety of our kids. We would like to hear your issues related to speeding in our school zones, and we certainly ask for your help by monitoring your speed near our students. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commander Kraig K. Boyd
Tukwila Police Department